God is not into recycling.
He does not take the worlds discarded and patch them up. He is strictly into make old things a new creation.
The apostle Paul wrote, "Therefore, if any man is in Christ, he is a new creature. Old things have passed away. Look, all things have become new. All this is from God, who has reconciled us to Himself through Jesus Christ and has given to us the ministry of reconciliation" (2 Cor. 5:17-18).
The whole concept of being born again (John 3:3-7) and the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit (Titus 3:3-7) is that you become a whole new species through the miraculous working of God.
You were once a sinner, living by the passions of the flesh and the pleasures of the world. Your heart was filled with bigotry, envy, jealousy and bitterness. Through the miraculous work of new birth imparted by the power of God, you have become a saint.
You are now living in true righteousness and holiness by the power, motivation, direction and discipline of the Holy Spirit.
You are not just a sinner saved by grace because if you are a sinner, you are not saved. If you are saved by grace you certainly are not a sinner.
Once you were a sinner, but now, you are saved by grace.
Once you were alien and not a part of the kingdom of God, but now, you are redeemed by the blood of the Lamb and adopted in the family of God.
That same Spirit that raised Jesus Christ from the dead now lives in you and He has made you a son or a daughter of God; an heir and join-heir with Jesus Christ. You are blessed "with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ, just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, to be holy and blameless before Him in love; He predestined us to adoption as sons to Himself through Jesus Christ according to the good pleasure of His will, 6 to the praise of the glory of His grace which He graciously bestowed on us in the Beloved" (Eph. 1:3-6).
As a new creation, born of the Spirit, God means for you to experience abundant life.
Jesus Christ said, "For I have come that they might have life and that they may have it more abundantly" (John 10:10).
Abundant living means living a life of wholeness or completeness. James wrote, "My brothers, count it all joy when you fall into diverse temptations,3 knowing that the trying of your faith develops patience. 4 But let patience perfect its work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing" (James 1:2-4 NKJV).
The Apostle explains to the church at Ephesus, "And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ, till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ" (Eph. 4:11-13).
The "perfect man" or being made perfect does not mean someone without flaws. "Perfect" is the Greek word teleios, meaning completeness, or wholeness.
A born-again child of God can live the good, acceptable and perfect will of God. It is His will for you to live a whole life spirit, soul and body.
As a new creation, you can live in wholeness.
1. Wholeness in spirit is being born again by the Holy Spirit and receiving new life within you. It is living by a whole new life source because the Spirit of God is within you. You no longer have to live out past failures, old memories and victimization of past hurts and abuses.
2. Wholeness in soul means you have been cleansed by the blood of Jesus and the renewing work of the Holy Spirit. You no longer live with your conscience and emotions defiled by bitterness, anger, resentment, insecurity, worry, anxiety, jealousy or inferiority. The fruit of the Spirit—love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faithfulness and meekness—are growing within you and fill your mind, will and emotions.
3. Wholeness physically is having the liberty to live free from the obligation to obey the carnal passions and desires of the flesh (Rom. 8:11-12). You have the power of Jesus Christ's death, burial and resurrection alive within you by the Holy Spirit. You do not have to let sin reign in our mortal bodies (Rom. 6:1-14). It also means Jesus Christ purchased physical healing for us through the flogging of His back (Is. 53:5 and 1 Pet. 2:24) because "by His stripes we were healed."
Living as a new creation that Jesus Christ has purchased for you requires the renewing of the mind.
The apostle said, "Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God" (Rom. 12:2).
It is impossible to put off the image of the old person you have lived with all your life-time and to put on the image of the new person you are now in Jesus Christ and keep the old "stinkin' thinkin'."
The old thought patterns, attitudes, reasoning, opinions and ideologies will keep you inseparably linked to the old image and the old behavior patterns.
You must choose to live by the image of the new creation you are in Jesus Christ and train your mind, will and emotions to live in conformity to the Word of God. It is a daily learning to walk in the freedom and power of a renewed mind.
It is learning to live by the "law of the spirit of life in Christ Jesus" and not by the "law of sin and death."
Every born-again child of God has been delivered from slavery and entered into the life of the redeemed. The blood of Jesus Christ has paid the ransom price for your freedom (Greek word: lutroo, Titus 2:14). The ransom Jesus paid has purchased you from slavery (Greek word exagorazo, Gal. 3:13; 4:5).
When He brought you from the slave market to His home, He did not make you a slave in His household but an adopted son or daughter with the full privilege of inheritance.
The seal of that adoption and the earnest of that inheritance is the Holy Spirit living within you.
Child of God, live in the assurance of that adoption and identity.
Walk in the freedom of that new life where there is no condemnation and no ties to the old life.
You have been justified by the divine decree of Almighty God. Now you are just as if you have never sinned. All of the records of past sins, past failures and the former life have been destroyed, never to be remembered again.
"The Holy Spirit also witnesses to us about this. For after saying, 'This is the covenant that I will make with them after those days, says the Lord: I will put My laws into their hearts, and in their minds I will write them,' then He adds, 'Their sins and lawless deeds will I remember no more'" (Heb. 10:15-17).
Dr. F. Dean Hackett has served in full-time Christian ministry since October 1971. He has ministered throughout the United States, Canada and Europe, serving as pastor, conference speaker and mentor. He has planted four churches, assisted in planting 15 others, and currently serves as lead pastor of Living Faith Church in Hermiston, Oregon. Dr. Hackett founded Spirit Life Ministries International in 2001 to facilitate ministries in Croatia and Bosnia Herzegovina and to open a training center for workers in those nations. You can find him at F. Dean Hackett - Foundational, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.
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